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Clamping a Chair is Like Hugging an Eel

One of the challenges when building a chair is clamping the dang thing down so you can work on it. I’ve seen lots of solutions that use band clamps. But I dislike band clamps (perhaps I had a bad experience at band camp). So here’s what I do. Most workholding problems can be solved with handscrew clamps and holdfasts, including this one. First you squeeze the legs with the handscrew […]

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Make a Revolution from a Tree

Last year while working in Maryland, I took a day to travel to Light Street in Baltimore to meet Jennie Alexander, author of the book “Make a Chair from a Tree.” Alexander is an iconic figure in woodworking and chairmaking, a term she would reject (or at least roll her eyes to when hearing). She calls herself an “informed amateur,” but has spent her entire life exploring how wooden parts […]

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Galbert Drawsharp in Use

Before you read beyond the first few sentences of this blog entry, there a couple things you should know: I have no problems sharpening a drawknife. Never have (except that time in the 1990s where I ended in the ER for seven stitches). One of the first tools I inherited from my grandfather was his old drawknife, which I still use. I have just finished editing a chairmaking book by […]

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& Tapered Mortises">Chair Joinery: Tapered Tenons & Tapered Mortises

Chair Joinery: Tapered Tenons & Tapered Mortises

Because chairs take abuse like a rented mule, the simple mortise-and-tenon joint is sometimes not enough. In traditional Windsor chair construction, the legs and spindles are attached to the plank seat using tenons that are cone-shaped along their lengths. So the mortises have to be the same shape. These tapered joints are clever. The more Continue reading»
 

Exploring the Roorkhee Chair

Exploring the Roorkhee Chair
I’m gearing up to build a run of Roorkhee Chairs for some customers and (fingers crossed) this magazine. But before I can even order the wood I had to do something I thought I’d never do again: Buy a piece of commercial furniture. The Roorkhee Chair is a seminal piece of British campaign furniture and [...]